Franz frowned in the mirror, straightening his tie. His tie was straight, that wasn’t the problem with it.
Except that kind of was the problem with it. It was too straight. He wished he’d at least put on a bowtie, but he had to look like a normal person.
“Your tie is fine,” Boey told him, catching Franz fidgeting.
Franz shrugged. “I guess.”
“You want a different one?”
Franz didn’t. “No, it’s fine.”
“Are you sure?” Boey asked. He looked dashing in his own paisley suit. Franz wished he looked that dashing. But nope.
“Yeah. I kind of wish I was wearing something better, is all,” Franz said.
“Yeah, like a dress or something.” Franz shrugged. It was too late now. He didn’t have one. “I feel like I look like a straight person.”
“You don’t,” Boey assured him, coming over and fiddling with Franz’s lapel. “You look good.”
“You could have worn a dress if you’d wanted.”
Franz shook his head. This was a fancy society party, the only kind he was invited to anymore. He had to look like a rich person. “Not really.”
“The only people who would care are the people who don’t matter, you know that.”
“I know, I just…” Franz sighed. “Appearances matter.”
“I know.” Boey kissed his cheek. “You want to go check and make sure the horny idiots are ready? I’m going to go feed Dragon and get Donny. Louis should be here in a few minutes.”
“Remember when we were the horny idiots?” Franz asked, as he headed for the door.
“We still are, don’t worry.”
“Okay.” That made Franz feel better, and he left the master bedroom, heading down the hall for Frederick and Silas’s room. He could hear them talking, and Jacob as well, who was Silas’s plus one tonight. The door was open, so Franz just went right in.
He was unsurprised that they weren’t all dressed, but Frederick was kneeling on the bed butt naked, and Jacob was doing the same on the floor, which was interesting since he’d been dressed and standing when he’d arrived an hour ago. Silas was fully dressed in his fucking cute little suit, leaning in close to Frederick’s neck while he did something.
“Guys,” Franz said. “We do have to go at some point and the party isn’t clothing optional.”
“Almost ready,” Silas told him. Jacob gave a squeak, but didn’t move from his position, kneeling on the floor beside Silas. He didn’t even look away from whatever was happening. “There.” Silas stood straight. “You look so good, Freddy.”
Curious, Franz came in closer. Silas had given Frederick a temporary tattoo that looked a bit like henna in the shape of what was unmistakably a collar around his neck. Frederick looked pleased with himself and not at all bothered by the attention as he said, “Thank you, sir,” to Silas.
Silas kissed his cheek. “And for you,” he said to Jacob, picking up a leather collar from the bed. He carefully fastened it around Jacob’s neck, pulling him to his feet and kissing him too. “I know you don’t want a permanent one, so here’s one you can take off when you go home. Don’t think it means you’re not worth the time, okay?”
“I…I won’t,” Jacob said quietly, visibly drinking in the praise. “Thank you, sir.”
“Make sure you wear that next time you come over, okay?”
Jacob nodded. Franz wasn’t so sure he didn’t want a permanent one. He looked like he never wanted to take it off.
Silas pinched his cheek, and then Frederick’s. “Okay, let’s get you boys dressed.”
“You’re really getting into this whole Dom thing, huh?” Franz asked, watching Silas putter around in his bedside table for a second.
“Yeah,” Silas agreed, coming back with two butt plugs. “Which one do you think Frederick would like?”
“Shouldn’t you ask Frederick?”
“Freddy, do you get a say in what you wear?”
“No, sir,” Frederick said, beaming. He was obviously enjoying this. He and Jacob were both, now that Franz was paying attention, freshly shaved all over.
Franz shrugged. Frederick and Silas had both made it very clear that they didn’t care if he was there when they were doing stuff. Jacob had been told by Silas that he could wear whatever he wanted or didn’t want, and that doors could be opened or closed whenever he wanted, and he’d very enthusiastically made it clear that he understood all sides of that equation. So even though Jacob had started sending him weird looks, his mouth a little open, his boner was also twitching a little, so he wasn’t that upset by Franz being here, clearly. Franz pointed at the smaller one in Silas’s left hand. “That one.”
Silas nodded, lubed it up, and got Frederick to bend over. “We’ll be ready in just a few minutes,” he said, as he stuck Jacob’s toy in. “I can dress them faster than you can dress Donny.”
“It helps that they’re cooperative,” Franz pointed out.
“Yep. Okay, let’s get dressed.” Silas held out a pair of skimpy black shorts for Frederick, which Frederick obediently stepped into. Then he held out a pair for Jacob.
“Uh…can I have underwear?” Jacob asked.
Silas kissed him again. “Ask properly, Jakey.”
“I can go,” Franz said. He didn’t need to sit and watch them play.
“It’s okay,” Jacob said. He took a breath. “Sir, may I please have some underwear?”
“Of course,” Silas said, going to the dresser and coming back with a pair of very small briefs that were clearly for a young boy. He handed them to Jacob, who took them and started to dress without a word.
“Covering up a little makes you look even cuter, Jakey,” Frederick teased, doing up his shorts, which were objectively too tight. Jacob blushed deeply at that.
“He’s right,” said Franz, since they all seemed to be enjoying teasing Jacob a little. When Jacob blushed deeper, he turned to Silas. “You know this is a formal party. Not an orgy.”
“I know,” Silas said. “But they’re going to be dressed. Who cares what they wear, right?”
“Lots of people.”
“Fuck them,” Silas said. “Besides, Darby ven Sancte and Giacomo DiSheere are going to be at this party, Boey said. He okayed their outfits. Freddy and Jakey are not going to be the ones causing a scandal. They’re going to look cute, and they’re going to behave themselves. Which reminds me, Gus and Ignatius are going to stay here tonight, that’s okay, right?”
“Sure,” Franz said, nodding. He felt funny. “That’s fine. I’ll get out of your guys’s way.”
“You can stay if you want,” Silas told him.
Franz shook his head. “I have to go make sure Donny’s babysitter knows not to give him muffins. I’ll see you guys in a few minutes.”
He left, and went back to his bedroom. “Is he always that pretty?” he heard Jacob ask as he left.
Franz nearly tripped at that, and hurried to the bedroom. He didn’t think he was that pretty right now. He squared his shoulders in front of the mirror. The horny idiots were right. They were doing what they wanted, and it wasn’t hurting anyone else. He was supposed to be the adult who’d figured all of this out. Goddamn it.
Next time he was going to wear the dress. But for now, Franz ripped off his tie, unbuttoned two buttons, opened a drawer in the vanity, and pulled out the makeup kit that he never used. He didn’t have time to change, or anything to change into.
But there was no reason he had to go to this party looking like a straight person.